Standing up for Yourself

Today I told my drama teacher/principal that I fundamentally clashed with her style of teaching and found some of the things that she did to be humiliating.

That was a serious step up for me… I think I just found some kind of a voice. It’s small and shy and still comes with a huge burden of guilt for not being nice to someone… but it’s there.

I was mature, with a solid line of argument- I stressed that I didn’t think she was wrong, but that she was wrong for me. She hasn’t apologised or said that she will do anything differently but she knows, and she knows that I’m not someone who can be dealt with like that.

I’m mature, calm and collected. I can stand up for myself and I will not let go of my principals. She tried to tell me that people ‘in the real world’ will talk to me in the way that she does and that I just need to grow up. I told her that I will never be okay with being spoken down to, that I will never be okay with being yelled at like a child in front of a fifteen year old work experience girl and that I will never, never be treated with anything less than the respect that I would give anyone else.

If I, the world’s biggest bloody doormat, can stand up in a calm and mature manner and tell someone that they’ve crossed a line, I’m pretty sure anyone can.

’til next time,

Wren x

It Gets Better. I Promise.

I feel really old.

I probably shouldn’t be saying that… I’m not really that old in terms of physical age but that’s not really what I mean.

I was answering a questionnaire for something about self injury and tumblr… I found myself slightly stumped as tumblr wasn’t really a big thing when I first started hurting myself and I haven’t really ventured near it in the years that it’s been running. Essentially, I’m too old for it to have had an effect on me.

I really don’t like that realisation!

Time has passed really quickly in the last few years, I’m finding myself out in the real, scary world of adults. I decided that university wasn’t for me and accepted that I will never have the ‘university experience’, on the plus side I’m finally operating at a level suited to my mental age.

I was an old child, I didn’t like or understand other children and as I grew up this turned from confusion, to awkwardness to fear. I struggled more and more with simple social interacting and was bullied mercilessly. I had some serious ‘daddy issues’ and a horrible, unfortunate stint of sexual bullying when I was about thirteen left me in a terrible state.

Depression hit me, and it hit me hard. I didn’t cope with anything at all- self harm saved my life but soon developed a life of its own and spiralled out of control. I created this blog, I put all of the energy I had left into getting better.

I made my way through mental health problem after mental health problem as well as dealing with the normal difficulties of growing up; relationships, life decisions, alcohol and hormones galore.

It feels like I’ve grown up a lot in a very short space of time; I’m sat here right now, in my partner’s flat, typing this blog post after a day making decisions about the next five or so years of my life and tying up the loose ends as my one year training course comes to an end…

I can see all of the different versions of me flickering before my eyes.

Aged 13/14/15: quiet, defeated Wren- scared, can’t sleep or eat or wash. Cuts and cuts because her scars are the only things that hold her together.

Aged 16/17: Hardened Wren- no-one will help her, no-one will make things better for her. Everyone has failed her and she has to look out for herself. Sometimes she lets down her guard and cries; she needs someone.

Aged 17/18: Independent Wren- she can loosen up a little, she still struggles and is ill but it’s been that way for so long that it’s normal. She feels emotion again and revels in it- even when it’s hard. She’s sassy and strong, she wants to be different and independent.

Aged 18: Careless Wren: who cares about her? She’s happy to put herself in dangerous situations because she doesn’t matter, she wants to live life to the full, go home with strangers and stay out until dawn just to prove that she’s still alive and whole. She wants bright lights, loud music and the assurance that she won’t fade away.

Who I am now? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I feel more relaxed and content than I have done ever in my life.

I take pleasure from the small things, I don’t care so much about how I look or being successful. I know that I’m going to make my mark on this world, slowly but surely and I’m content with that. I love to watch the sun and the rain. I love the darkness and the light. I love and am loved in return. I am an adult.

Occasionally my mental health problems rear their head, but I have enough experience and support to be able to knuckle down and get through the storm.

It gets better. I promise.

’til next time,

Wren x

Omnia

I was pretty pleased to find that we have progressed onto the letter ‘O’ as it means I can share one of my favourite Pagan-related things; the music of Omnia!

Blessings,

Wren x

Feminism: A Poem

Society dictates who we are, how we look, what we say.

We’re trapped by our minds and our bodies every day.

We’re judged by what we weigh and who we’ve taken to bed.

Not by the thoughts we have or the books we’ve read.

We’re fighting a war that cannot be won.

We’re either frigid and prudish or easy and dumb.

The unwritten rules dictate what we do.

You can’t wear a mini-skirt when you’re thirty, can you?

Our boundaries have changed but they’re still there.

You’ve got to wear make-up and straighten your hair.

After a century of campaigning some still don’t get equal pay.

Intelligent women are insulted and belittled every day.

Feminism is an ugly word, not one we like to own.

But it’s time to lead the lives we want, not the ones we’re shown.

…..

So I wrote a poem for something and thought that it was decent enough to stick on here; clearly I was feeling pretty het up when I wrote it…

’til next time,

Wren x

Noticing Self-Harm

I wish I knew what to say.

I keep noticing strangers with self harm scars/cuts. I’ve been self harming for about four years or so, I know what it looks like when you cut yourself with a razor- when you’re used to those kind of cuts you can recognise them. Actually, it’s not just about knowing what razor cuts look like, you can tell when most wounds are self inflicted.

There’s something about the angle, the grouping- a dead giveaway are cuts only on the left arm… most people are right handed.

I want to do something- god, I wish there was something I could do. I know that if someone had come up to me when I was cutting and said something, given me some advice or pointed me in the right direction, then it might have helped me.

But is it rude? Is it crossing a line? After all, it’s their body and I know nothing about them- so if I go up and start telling them to get help then maybe I’m being nosy and patronising.

I want to say something.

I want to reach out to the people in the streets who are suffering.

I can see people walk past me with the wounds out there- I want to reach out and help them but I don’t know how.

I want to do something for the waiter who served me in the restaurant and for the girl in the card shop…

Years have passed for me, but I’m still struggling to be able to do something.

What can I do?

’til next time,

Wren x

Life Updates

This is just a boring and disappointing note to say that I will be going silent for a few days, I’ll be back as normal on Monday to talk about mental illness and my mind but I’m terrifyingly busy at the moment and so have decided to photograph things that happen for the next few days and post them as one big post over the weekend.

Hope you’re all doing well, I’ll be rehearsing all hours before popping down to London and back and trying to do something with my career then collapsing with my partner and trying to recover over the weekend… by Monday I will have aged about twenty years.

Have a good rest of the week,

’til next time,

Wren x

Problems, Problems, Problems

First of all, apologies for not blogging on Friday… things kind of spiralled out of control very quickly towards the end of last week and I just didn’t organise myself well enough to allow for the usual Pagan Friday post to come.

Tonight I want to talk about what’s been causing all of this stress for me in the last week and just help to clear my head a little.

For the last year I’ve been attending a local stage-school doing a one year course that’s intended to be the equivalent of a foundation degree… I don’t actually know if it is. It was the first year that this course was run and now I’m coming to the end I’m finding myself in a horrible position. My circumstances have changed in the last year; I need a degree- and I’m not prepared to wait for another three years to get one.

I have the chance to do a degree in two years, but I have to stay with the stage-school that I’m currently at. This would be fine… but the principal/teacher/person in charge and who teaches everything is kind of worrying. By worrying I mean ‘plays mind games… all of the time.’ Recently I’ve felt that it’s got to a point where I should do something… but I can’t. I don’t know who to go to or what to say… she’s fucked with my mind and the minds of everyone else so much that no-one will say anything. And if they do then it’ll threaten one of the few chances that I have of getting a qualification that I really need. In other words, she has me well and truly by the bollocks.

In the last nine months I’ve become someone that I don’t recognise. I don’t like or recognise myself anymore… I feel like a stranger in my own head.

If I choose to take this option it’ll be because there’s nothing else for me, and I’ll be doing a deal with the devil.

I don’t know where I stand in my own head anymore, and that’s a terrifying thing for someone like me. I’m trying to concentrate on the end of the course and on taking my one-woman theatre to the streets of Edinburgh.

… But what the hell am I going to do in September?

’til next time,

Wren x

 

Bronislaw Linke

Today I want to introduce you to the work of my favourite artist; Bronislaw Linke.

from: http://polscy-malarze.pl/linke.html

from: http://polish-art.info/linke.html

A Polish painter making his name in the 40s, 50s and 60s, Linke’s painting have always drawn me in. There’s something about the way that he creates an image that draws me in and allows me to feel. My personal favourite of all of his works is a series called: ‘Kamienie Krzyoza’ roughly translated as ‘The Stones Shriek/Scream’ it shows images of the destruction of the city of Warsaw after the 1944 uprising.
’til next time,
Wren x

Nightmares

I have nightmares; they’re frequent and ever changing and can range from unsettling, to frightening, to graphic. I can forget them almost as soon as I wake and be left with only a strange, uncomfortable feeling or they can haunt me for years afterwards.

I tend to have nightmares when I’m worried or anxious about something; for me it’s a great clue that something is stressing me out or bothering me, even if I think it isn’t.

I think that we dismiss nightmares too readily, we soothe children by telling them that it was ‘only a dream’, and this is done for good reason- but it can lead to us dismissing nightmares and ignoring the affect that they have on us. A nightmare can scare you badly, it can make you paranoid and change your behaviour. One of the worst that I ever had meant that I couldn’t sleep with any windows open for around two years.

They can also be telling us something important; they give us an insight into our innermost feelings. When my partner was overseas last month I had a terrible nightmare that involved him being taken away from me, all traces of our life together vanishing in front of my eyes. In my dream I vowed never to rest until I found him again. For me this was an insight into the depth of our bond and my worries regarding his job; both things that I already knew subconsciously but hadn’t fully realised yet.

Bad dreams about my job allow me to see that I need to quit and find another one, and a constant theme of having no control allows me to see that this is something that frightens me.

When I was about fifteen my nightmares were so bad that I knew I had to do something about them, I would avoid going to sleep and this would only make everything worse in terms of my mental health. I started to learn about lucid dreaming. I think this is something that I’ve talked about before, but I’ll mention it again for the sake of this post.

The way I learnt to lucid dream was by drawing an ‘A’ on the back of my hand and checking it every hour. Every hour when I looked at it I would do something to test that I was actually awake- such as pinching myself, drinking something, speaking to someone else- the most affective but risky thing to do is to look in a mirror. I say ‘risky’ because if you are dreaming then generally the image that you’re presented with can be pretty nasty/scary.

Using this technique I gradually got a handle on lucid dreaming. I remember clearly the first few times that I did it, it was such a wonderful sense of achievement. I still have nightmares, but a lot of the time I can wake myself up from them- or I try another technique.

The other technique that I use isn’t conscious at all, it’s something that I do as a person in times of trouble/need in my waking life and so has clearly seeped into my dreaming life too… when my I’m stuck in a nightmare and things are getting very bad, I call for the Gods.

My Gods help me when I’m awake and when I’m asleep, the offer me protection and guidance even when I’m at my most vulnerable.

Blessings,

Wren x